|Headquarters||New York, NY|
|Key people||Charles Best, Founder|
DonorsChoose.org is a United States–based nonprofit organization that provides a way for people to donate directly to specific projects at public schools (sometimes known as peer-to-peer philanthropy).
DonorsChoose.org was started in 2000 by Charles Best, a teacher at a public high school in the Bronx. Since then, it has grown to serve all the public schools throughout the United States. As of August 2011, more than $86 million had been donated to over 210,000 projects, helping more than 5,150,000 students in need. By August 2012, that has increased to more than $121 million donated to fund over 291,000 projects to help 6,900,000 students. Real-time impact statistics are available at http://www.DonorsChoose.org/about/impact.html.
The organization enables teachers to request materials and resources for their classrooms and makes them available to individual donors through its website. Individual donors can select projects and contribute as much as they are prepared to. DonorsChoose.org then purchases necessary supplies and ships them directly to the schools. Every project contains a line-item budget which is sent to the donor. All donors receive photographs of the project taking place in the classroom and a letter from the teacher. Donors who contribute $50 or more to a project also receive a "thank-you package" of hand-written thank-you notes from students.
The operations of DonorsChoose.org are 100% supported by the optional inclusion of 15% of one's donation to overhead, teacher outreach, maintenance and build-out of the DonorsChoose.org website. Citizen donors may opt out (about a quarter reduce or eliminate the allocation) while partners leave it intact.
DonorsChoose.org appeared in a Doonesbury strip on September 9, 2007. It was also mentioned in an interview with Craig Newmark on the October 18, 2007 episode of the Colbert Report, and again on March 19, 2008 and September 27, 2011. In a TED talk entitled 'How to Buy Happiness,' DonorsChoose is mentioned as a charitable outlet, in a discussion on the relative benefits of personal vs. social spending.
DonorsChoose.org appeared most recently on the Colbert Report on December 13, 2012 as a recipient of host Stephen Colbert's Super PAC Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow, through the satirical Ham Rove Memorial Fund.
DonorsChoose.org is open to all public schools in the United States.
|Traditional public schools||Private schools or parochial schools|
|Public charter schools||Home school|
|GED (adult ed) programs run by public school system||Adult education (albeit pre-collegiate) run by university system|
|Pre-K programs directly run by public school system||Head start or other early intervention programs run by other governmental agencies or private contractors|
|Alternative schools run by the larger public school system (ex: school serving prison inmates, public boarding school)|
|Federal- or state-run public schools (incl. Department of Defense K-12 schools)|
To request a grant for a classroom, there are certain eligibility requirements.
|Yes it is||No It Is Not|
|Public school teachers, librarians, guidance counselors, school nurses and full-time teachers who also act as coaches||Private school teachers, librarians, guidance counselors, school nurses and full-time teachers who also act as coaches|
|Public or Private school principals, administrators, PTA/PTO members, teachers' assistants, student teachers, substitutes, part-time after-school teachers, or staff developers|
Only "front-line educators" at public schools in the United States who have a part in implementing the grant may register and apply for a grant.
- 2004/5 IRS 990 Form submitted for EIN 13-4129457 on 2005-12-15. Retrieved 2007-01-05. Available online from Guidestar.org (registration required)
- Making a Difference Since 2001
- DonorsChoose.org Impact Statement
- "Doonesbury", September 9, 2007
- "Colbert Report", October 18, 2007
- "Colbert Report", March 19, 2008
- "For the First Time-Ever 'The Colbert Report' Hits the Road," Fox Business, March 18, 2008
- "Colbert Report", December 13, 2012
- "DonorsChoose strictly serves public schools, but we define "public school" somewhat broadly:"
- "Who can use DonorsChoose.org?"
- DonorsChoose.org website
- CharityNavigator analysis of DonorsChoose.org
- Business Week (2005). "School Aid: It Takes A Web Site", 26 September 2005
- Lewin, Tamar: The New York Times (2005). "Building Better Schools, One Glue Stick at a Time." 14 November, 2005.
- Steel, Emily: Wall Street Journal (2006). "Novel Program Blends Charity And Marketing." 20 December, 2006.
- Schoolkids Get What Donors Choose
- GrayMatter, a student-oriented nonprofit modeled after DonorsChoose